The Thesis I
Simply put, a thesis is the main point or idea or focus of a paper. It can be in the form of one sentence or a few sentences or a rhetorical question. It can even be implied, but not stated explicitly. In any case, however, all strong papers must have a strong thesis.
Why is a thesis important?
1) It tells the reader what the paper is about.
In this sense, think of the paper as a room filled with furniture; the thesis idea should act as light switch that lets the reader see where everything is rather than leaving her or him to fumble through without knowing where the paper is going.
2) It helps you to keep on track (without digressing too much). In other words, if you are trying to keep an essay solidly organized around a thesis, then you will be able to spot paragraphs which don't add anything to your main idea and you can remove them.
3) It unifies the paper.
In other words, a good thesis will keep your paper from being formless, rambling, confused, or incoherent. Everything in your paper should be related to the thesis as either evidence, corollaries, counter-examples, implications, explanations, or background. It is the purpose of topic sentences and transitional sentences to show clearly the specific relation of each part to the thesis.
The Thesis II
What are the characteristics of a good thesis?
It should get the reader's attention.
2) Specific and provable.
It should not be so broad that you can't deal with it thoroughly in the course of the paper. Neither should it be so vague that it can't really be proven or demonstrated in the course of the paper.
It should not be overly simple, like "Games are relaxing and fun" or obvious, like "War is destructive." A good thesis is one that answers/asks "why" or "how" rather than "what." For example, "Although games and sports are often criticized for encouraging competitiveness and for placing too much emphasis on 'winners' and 'losers,' they actually...
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